9/19/2020

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

Micromobility is the “future of urban transportation,” analysts write in an extensive report from Deloitte, and electric scooters lead the way: “Adoption rates during their short time on the market have been impressive, surpassing that seen by popular ride-hailing applications during their early days.” Commuter benefits company Edenred also sees electric scooters at the forefront of the “future of commuting.” Even reluctant skeptics have come around. “Unfortunately,” writes Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic, “the electric scooters are fantastic.”

Most of the praise and predictions over the past few years have come from analyses of scooter sharing services, which have “stormed from city to city since their commercial launches,” Deloitte writes. Scooter shares have proven their value to commuters who need to close a transit gap. “That people have taken so readily to scooters,” Umair Irfan writes at Vox, “shows just how much latent demand there is for a quick and cheap way to get around cities.” (Irfan also points to the many problems of the share model—including city parks and sidewalks cluttered with discarded scooters.)

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Demand has only risen since the initial waves of scooter share love/hate, driven not only by rising transportation costs and rising urban populations, but also by the need to social distance during the pandemic. The sharing business model “drastically lowered the barrier to entry for scooter riders, allowing scooter skeptics to cheaply satiate their curiosity, turning some into loyal riders.” Of those who do become committed scooter riders, most will end up buying their own scooter. For a true convert like Meyer, owning a reliable, high-performance scooter like the Unagi Model One might be a must:

lectric scooters are a novel mode of transportation. They unite many of the best elements of traveling by car, bike, and foot. Like cars, they have an engine, so you can get to work without getting sweaty. Like bikes, there isn’t really road congestion, so you can travel faster than most cars can. And like walking, they let you spend your commute outside.

For people like me—office workers who commute within the city they live—it’s the fastest, least-sweaty option available…. You can understand why the scooters feel so vital, then. A scooter reliably travels one mile in eight minutes. You can ride it door-to-door, and you don’t have to find a place to park it. Riding one feels like a superpower.

In addition to Meyer’s list of benefits, traveling by scooter may now be one of the safest, and most environmentally friendly ways to get around.

Staying Safe and Socially Distanced

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The dangers of COVID transmission have given commuters plenty more to worry about on their way to work. While millions of people still depend on public transportation, ridership in major cities has dropped dramatically. Studies show the risks may be lower than riders think but staying safe still depends on everyone adhering to social distancing and mask regulations, something commuters can’t really control on a subway car or bus. Scooter riders, on the other hand, can easily stay six feet apart from their neighbors as they commute to work, as increasing numbers of first-time riders have discovered during the initial lockdowns.

Get Out of the Gridlock

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Electric scooters offer not only one of the best ways to social distance during the pandemic, but also one of the best ways to avoid the hassles of sitting in traffic and driving around looking for parking. Of course, it isn’t only drivers who have to contend with gridlock. As every subway rider knows all too well, accidents, construction, and other unexpected delays can turn a short commute into an agonizing ordeal.

Long, sedentary commutes have been shown to cause chronic stress that contributes to a host of illnesses, including heart disease and depression. They waste time much better spent with the people and activities we love. While riding shared scooters is a great way to get to started, owning a scooter is the only way to guarantee you’ll always have transportation when you need it. For short commutes and trips around town, an electric scooter means hardly ever having to sit through the pain of traffic jams. A “superpower,” indeed.

Energy Efficient, Environmentally Friendly

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Concerns over greenhouse gas emissions have significantly driven the adoption of vehicles like electric bikes and scooters. Those concerns are not only valid, they are essential to slowing climate change and creating smart, sustainable cities free of unlivable gridlock and pollution.

Transportation experts agree that electric scooters are leaders in this respect as well, but the share model has left a much larger carbon footprint than commuters might expect due to the waste of broken scooters and the emissions of vehicles that pick up, repair, and recharge rentals. Commuters who own their own electric scooters, however, leave little carbon trace behind them on their ride.

Versatility: Hybrid Commuting

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Not everyone lives a short enough distance away from work to ride a scooter door-to-door, and public transportation still serves an important function in major cities worldwide and will continue to do so in the future. Lightweight, folding electric scooters like the premium Unagi Model One, however, give commuters choices they never had before—like the ability to take public transportation in the first place. As an “ultimate last mile” solution, scooters enable riders to access subway stations out of walking distance and make driving unnecessary.

While it’s true that scooters aren’t suitable for every kind of weather, they can, unlike most bikes, be easily stowed under a seat or in a trunk in the event of an unexpected downpour or snowstorm. Electric scooters are the future of the commuting not because they will replace every other way of getting around, but because they make new kinds of connections possible, leading to fewer cars on the road and more healthy, sustainable, alternative commuting options than ever.


Need to Knows
The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

3/30/2021

The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

“Is my scooter legal?” is a question many are increasingly asking. The micromobility industry is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting in the world—with promises for...in addition to abundances of the basics of time and money savings. And with this pace of innovation comes a struggle for regulation to keep up.

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

2/15/2021

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

It’s beyond question that we must drastically reduce carbon emissions in the coming years to head off the worst effects of climate change. How we do that has been a matter of considerably drawn-out debate. As individuals, it can be…

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

2/13/2021

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

The electric scooter boom has come with some highly publicized fears about scooter safety. Some of these concerns are justified. Nearly all studies have shown that scooters face the same dangers that bikes do, in addition to them being less…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

1/28/2021

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

New modes of transportation have been popping up all over the place thanks to incredible developments in lithium-ion battery and electric motor technology. These include electric bikes, innovative modern electric scooters like Unagi, as well as the shared scooters clustered…

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

1/13/2021

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

You’ve seen them all over your city’s streets, and everyone who rides one looks absolutely thrilled. So, why haven’t you picked up your own folding electric scooter yet? Maybe you’re worried about whether e-scooters require a driver’s license, or a…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

12/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

It’s a reasonable question to ask. After all, it seems like the safer option. Can you, and should you, ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk? In many cases, the answer is no: you cannot. Story after story in electric…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

9/28/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

The electric scooter market, like virtually every other industry, has experienced some dramatic ups and downs in 2020. In March, for example, as the coronavirus spread uncontained, The Verge reported that in dozens of cities around the world, share companies…

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

9/19/2020

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

Micromobility is the “future of urban transportation,” analysts write in an extensive report from Deloitte, and electric scooters lead the way: “Adoption rates during their short time on the market have been impressive, surpassing that seen by popular ride-hailing applications…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

9/9/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

It finally happened, and not a moment too soon. New York has legalized e-bikes and e-scooters statewide in an agreement reached in April during the last legislative session. This is great news for commuters, students, delivery workers, and all New…

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

9/2/2020

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

In only a few short months, the current pandemic has changed the way we do nearly everything, from getting to work to gathering (or not) in public. Fears of the virus multiply when it comes to public transportation. Public transit…

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

8/19/2020

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

Advances in battery technology have led to a market filled with high-quality electric scooters for everything from tooling around the neighborhood to competitive off-road racing. It’s an exciting time to buy a scooter, but also a confusing time, given the…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

7/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

“No” is the standard answer to the question of whether you should ride an electric scooter in the rain. But can you ride an electric scooter in the rain? There are times when it may be safe to do so…

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

7/21/2020

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

Wondering whether you can take your electric scooter on an airplane? As with all things air travel-related the answer should be simple, right? As you might expect, it’s not—or not entirely—but the short answer is no, you cannot take most…

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

6/17/2020

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

As cities become more crowded and traffic worsens by the year, the old ways of commuting have become increasingly unsustainable. So, is it worth buying yourself an electric scooter?

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

10/15/2019

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

*Disclaimer: Unagi, INC. has used best efforts, but does not in any manner guarantee the accuracy of the below findings regarding electric scooter laws in the United States or internationally. Electric scooter riders or those considering to purchase or begin…

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

4/15/2019

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

“Nice neighborhood you’ve got there. Sure would be a shame if someone put a highway through it.” So says the text over the face of Robert Moses in a meme that launched the Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented…